Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Penguin Design

This weekend when trying to describe open source software to a friend, a neat association came to mind. Many of us have heard that "a camel is a horse designed by committee." What about open source. Well: "a penguin is a bird designed by open source!"

Assuming that I had heard this somewhere before, I searched but could not find it. Interesting: it seems like such an obvious connection to make :-) If anyone knows of a source for that statement, please let me know and I'll make the proper attribution here....


Blogger Peter said...

Hmmmm... Camels are, in fact, pretty awesome. Whether they're attractive or not, they'll get you through a desert better than a horse. Maybe this means hope for open source, the JCP, etc. ;)

10:30 AM

Anonymous roman said...

Exactly! Camels can run, can survive in a desert, can live quite a long time without food and water, can carry weights, have warm wool, can eat things that horses can't, etc. A definitive improvement!

Birds are supposed to fly, but penguins swim... Hmmm... is open-source software that useless?! :)

4:46 PM

Blogger Nick said...

Show me the spec that says 'birds are supposed to fly.' Even the spec that says 'mammals don't lay eggs' has been violated by the platypus.

I think the observation that the open source bird can do more than you'd expect (or is being used in unexpected ways) is a good one. It's growing organically and via natural selection to adapt to its environment. So while you might *expect* it to do certain things (like BSOD or be prone to virus attack) the fact is it's so much more, and so much better.

And you'll never catch a penguin flying into closed Windows. ;-)

3:19 PM


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